The Negro and the Nation: A History of American Slavery and Enfranchisement

By George S. Merriam | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER XII
SLAVERY AS IT WAS

AND now, in the year 1852, there befell an event perhaps as momentous in American history as any between the establishment of the Constitution and the Civil War. A frail little woman, the wife of an obscure theological professor in a Maine village, wrote a story, and that story captured the heart of the world. It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that Uncle Tom's Cabin converted the North to the cause of the slave. The typical Union volunteer of 1861 carried the book in his memory. It brought home to the heart of the North, and of the world, that the slave was a man,--one with mankind by that deepest tie, of human love and aspiration and anguish,--but denied the rights of a man.

The book was a birth of genius and love. It is absolutely sweet-spirited. Its intense and irresistible plea is not against a class or a section, but against a system. It portrays among the Southern slave-holders characters noble and attractive,--Mrs Shelby, the faithful mistress, and the fascinating St. Clare. The worst villain in the story is a renegade Northerner. Its typical Yankee, Miss Ophelia, provokes kindly laughter. The book mixes humor with its tragedy; the sorrows of Uncle Tom and the dark story of Cassy are relieved by the pranks of Black Sam and the antics of Topsy. With all its woes, the story somehow does not leave a depressing effect; it abounds in courage and action; the fugitives win their way to freedom; the final impulse

-97-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Negro and the Nation: A History of American Slavery and Enfranchisement
Table of contents
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 438

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?